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Idea’s mobile data base up 10.5% QoQ to 27.9M for Q1-FY15

Idea Cellular has reported 27.9 million mobile data subscriptions for the quarter ended June 30, 2014, registering a 10.5% growth from 25.26 million mobile data subscriptions in the previous quarter.

Note that Idea Cellular had started culling incidental data users from Q3-FY14, due to which its mobile data subscription base had declined to 25.5 million in Q3-FY14 and 25.26 million in Q4-FY14. Incidental data users are users who have consumed less than 1 MB/month.

The total 3G subscription base is at 10.6 million for the quarter, up from 10.2 million 3G subscriptions in the previous quarter.  This indicates that the telco added only 0.4 million 3G subscriptions during the quarter. In the previous quarter, Idea had added 1.5 million 3G connections, which was also a significant decline from 2.5 million 3G additions in the quarter before.

In comparison, the telco added 2.24 million 2G subscriptions for the quarter, increasing its 2G data subscription base to 17.3 million subscriptions.

Mobile Internet Data

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– Data revenues are 11.5% of Service revenues, up from 10.1% in the previous quarter and 7.2% in Q1-FY14. Mobile data revenue grew by 23.6% for the quarter.
27.9 million mobile data subscriptions (2G+3G subscriptions), up from 25.26 million 2G+3G users in the previous quarter.
– Idea Cellular added 2.6 million data connections during the quarter.
Blended Data ARPU per data customer (2G + 3G) is at Rs 108, up from Rs 104 last quarter, and Rs 54 for the same quarter last year. This bump up on yearly basis is due to the removal of incidental users.

Blended usage per data subscription marginally declined to 409MB from 410 MB in the previous quarter, up from 309 MB last quarter and 160 MB last year. Similar to the Data ARPU, the significant YoY growth in data usage is due to the removal of incidental users.

32.5 billion MB data transferred, up from 27.3 billion MB data transfer last quarter, and 13.8 billion MB in Q1-FY14.
– The average realized rate per MB (ARMB) has increased to Rs 0.263 per MB for the quarter, up from Rs 0.253 per MB last quarter but down from Rs 0.335 per MB in Q1-FY14.
– The contribution of non-voice revenues (Data & VAS) to Idea Cellular’s overall revenues has improved to 17.8% for the quarter, up from 16.5% in the previous quarter and 16% in the quarter before. This is primarily due to the increase in data revenues since the non-data VAS contribution to the telco’s revenues remained flat sequentially at 6.4% for the quarter and has dipped from 8.8% in Q1-FY14.

3G data connections: 10.6 million, up from 10.2 million last quarter.
3G Data ARPU per data customer: Rs 142 down from Rs 111 last quarter
3G Data Usage: 534 MB per connection, up from 462 MB last quarter
3G Data volume: 15.72 billion MB, up from 13.08 billion MB in the previous quarter.
3G sites added: 1,135 sites added, down from 1,477 sites in the last quarter.
3G Sites: 22,516 sites, up from 21,381 sites in the previous quarter.

3G launch in Punjab: Idea Cellular launched its 3G services in Punjab from May 29 this year. With this, it now offers 3G services in 11 service areas on its own, which the company says covers 72% of its subscription base. Idea Cellular has 3G spectrum in 12 circles, including Delhi where the telco had acquired 5 MHz of spectrum in the February 2014 spectrum auctions. It plans to launch 3G services in Delhi in 2015.

Resuming 3G ICR services: In the same month, Idea Cellular also resumed 3G services in 10 circles through its intra-circle roaming agreements with Airtel and Vodafone. The service is available for both prepaid and postpaid Idea customers. The 3G roaming packs are priced in the range of Rs 7 to Rs 1499, however this might differ from circle to circle.

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Earlier this month, Idea Cellular & Opera Software had partnered with Quikr to launch Sponsored Opera Web Pass in India. Through this initiative, Idea Cellular was offering 10MB sponsored free data to Opera Mini users on its network for 24 hours. More on how sponsored web pass works here.

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